Mr. Schoenburg's Checklist

The checklist was scribbled in a runny ink that was slightly smudged in places. It ran like this:

[✓] eat breakfast

[✓] brush teeth

[✓] take medication

[✓] go to the bank

[✓] meet with Mr. Bailey for lunch

[   ] prune the roses

"Why does a man need to remind himself to brush his teeth?" Devereaux grumbled through his mustache.

"Mr. Schoenburg was a very absent-minded man," I said. "A bit senile, I suppose. He was very sharp in his day, but in his advanced age he had trouble remembering most things. . . ." I was talking, but I was scarcely aware of what I was saying. I was too perturbed by the sight of the pen -- my pen -- covered in blood.

"This is a most interesting list," said Devereaux. "Do you see that?"

I nodded, but of course I didn't know what was interesting about it at all, really.

"It may tell us many things that are not obvious at first," Devereaux continued, seeming to take it for granted that I wasn't following him. "And I believe it lies, too. The trouble is in sorting it all out. Do you happen to know whether this man was left- or right-handed?" he addressed me suddenly.

"I don't know, I'm sorry." I realized suddenly that I was wringing my hands rather comically. "Am I going to be arrested?"

Devereaux ignored this question. "We need to discover which hand he wrote with. That will clear up a lot. Ah! Here comes the sheriff with the doctor!"

The End

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